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How to Make your own Impressionist Art Painting

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It is the best time of the month again.  The time of the month that I always look forward to.  Yes it is International Bloggers Club Challenge.  We are a group of friends from all over the world who get together every month to share our projects and discuss how things are done in our countries.   Last time we shared Valentine’s Day Projects and the month before it was gift wrapping ideas

This month we really wanted to challenge ourselves so instead of doing something that is normally done at this time of the year we decided we would try something new… new that is to each one of us.  I chose to try my hand at Impressionistic art painting. 

To see what my buddies chose to try their hands at, simply scroll down to the end of the post. 
Painting of beach landscape How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
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​My journey into this attempt started at my local Marshall’s where I was shopping and chanced upon this piece of art which was on sale for $8.  Well I didn’t really care for the artwork since I am not a fan of plants (being a brown thumb and all) but my eye was drawn to the frame.  I knew that if I took it home I could get my daughter who is artistic to do something with it, maybe paint something on top of it.  I sent her a text, but she rejected my idea. 

​Well, guess what?  I still bought it.  I decided that if she would not do it then I would challenge myself to see if I could create a piece of art. After all it was worth the price of the canvas alone.

Canvas with print in frame, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
When I got it home and took the cardboard edges off I saw that it was in fact plastic but that did not deter me. The plan was to create something Rothko-esque, you know the artist that divides everything into threes. I got the idea from my friend Erica of Designing Vibes, who is always making her own art. I envisioned white, black and grey in the middle. Super simple right?  Wrong!!
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What I Used:

  • canvas in a frame 14 by 18, you can use a plain canvas
  • masking tape
  • various acrylic paints
  • sponge brush 
  • ​small brushes
Acrylic paints and brushes, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting

The How To:

I taped off the frame and began working.  I ended up applying 6 coats of white acrylic paint to try and hide the Plant artwork.  And I still wasn’t able to hide those darn words.  Did I say this was going to be easy?

Painting the canvas white to cover the print, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
Minted's Limited Edition Art Prints

​At this point frustration had set in. There was no way that I would be able to recreate the abstract art I was after with this pitiful canvas, with it’s letters that wouldn’t disappear. After all it’s nice to challenge yourself but I had other painting to do, of the furniture variety. 

So I thought of something my friend Michelle of A Crafty Mix had said to me once about painting one of my photos.  And I figured why not try that but still keep it Rothko-esque.  This is the one I chose. Michelle wanted to do the one with the pebbles that was in the same post. 
Photo of pebbles, sea and mountains with sky in the background, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
Now Michelle is a very talented artist and I knew there was no way I could do what she does but I could apply a Monet look to my painting. Hah!  All those years of Art History are finally paying off! Monet specialized in perceptions.  If you look at his art you will get an impression of a landscape but if you go up close it is just a bunch of brush strokes.  

Now that was something I could work with after all I cannot draw realistically to save my life.  But I can do brush strokes like a master! “wink”  

And so I taped off the canvas into three parts.  They were not exact.  Using a small stiff brush I applied blue paint here and there, making sure to cover all those offensive letters and this was the result. 

Using masking tape to section off the different areas, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
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​Don’t mind the mess around the canvas.  I had placed it on the desk where the computer was so I could see the photo. I do not recommend doing it this way but I was in such a rush and wanted it to come out nice. 
photograph on the computer screen, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
I then used a turquoise blue and worked with a sponge brush to create the sky.  I just stabbed the brush onto the canvas in short bursts. Sometimes the color got mixed up with the darker blue and the white but that is fine because I was going for a varied effect. 
Painting the upper part of sky, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
Minted's Limited Edition Art Prints

​Using a brush I went back and added a bit of red to the blue, this gave me a bit of purple which you can see is prominent in the photograph. Just a hint of it to give the illusion of some clouds. 
lilac clouds in the sky, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
For the pebbles I used black, white and a combination of the two, plus a hint of blue. Short, fat brush strokes did the trick here. 
black, white and grey pebbles, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
I went back and added a bit of grey to the sea to give it a bit more depth. 
brush strokes for the sea, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting

​And I was done.  I had made sure to keep the horizon straight but the pebbles didn’t need such a straight line. Oh and can you see those pesky letters?  NO!!
The completed painting, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
When I showed it to my artist daughter she said “It turned out better than I expected”.  Now that is a compliment of the highest order coming from her!

And my other girl, the one who loves all things blue, immediately asked who would be the proud owner of this lovely painting… meaning her!  So now I’ve got a compliment and a happy daughter!
Detail of the sky and the frame, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
I have to admit I had a lot of fun creating this Rotho-Monet-esque painting! If I was less pressed for time I would have probably thought it through better and created more sea and less pebbles. But considering that I wanted to do a black and white number this turned out pretty well and it was beyond my skill set.  You will never know what you can accomplish till you try. 

​My thanks to Erica of Designing Vibes for the inspiration. You all have to check out her blog, she is full of fun and easy ideas.  And her home is gorgeous!
Painted canvas which was a print before, How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
Taking this challenge to try new ideas was really good for me even if I was under pressure.  In fact I never would have tried this had the print disappeared like it was supposed to. I think that now that I have made this Impressionist art paintingnext time I will try my hand at a Rothko-esque black and white. Do you have a favorite painter? 

 Now join my friends and see what they have tried out for the first time. Simply click on the images below my name.  If you’d like to see more past challenges click here.

By repurposing a printed canvas with frame, you can create an Impressionist Art painting, A tutorial of how to create abstract art. #ArtTutorial, #Monet #Rothko #abstractart #ImpressionistArt #Bluecolors #Sealandscape, #Painting How to Make your Own Impressionist Art Painting
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Monday 16th of April 2018

Mary, your painting is amazing!! You are a wonderful artist!! I hope we see more of your work!!


Monday 26th of February 2018

Beautiful work Mary. I wonder why we lose the ability to be fearless, like small kids - they have no inhibitions when it comes to trying something new. I guess it was fate that your daughter wouldn't do it :) If you weren't determined to try, you'd never have known you have artistic talent. You'll probably search out more markdowns now!


Monday 26th of February 2018

Sara you are so right, we become complacent the older we get. Good thing this challenge gave me a kick in the pants. I really enjoyed it and also happily tested the waters with my painting.


Monday 26th of February 2018

Mary, that looks pretty good...very Monet-looking. And it pleased your daughters! High praise indeed. That was brilliant to tape it off in 3 sections. If it had been me, I would have kept painting over & painting over the letters & gotten more frustrated. You did good.


Monday 26th of February 2018

Florence I needed to get that horizon straight. There was no way I could do it freestyle. And now I'm inspired to look for more canvases! ;)

Deborah Regen

Monday 26th of February 2018

We have a winner here. I like your painting very much. Especially knowing what lies under...haha. You did a great job here explaining how you proceeded at each step plus all the photos as your painting took shape. I am sure your finished art piece will look nice wherever you decide to hang it in your home.


Monday 26th of February 2018

Deborah I had to get rid of that print underneath. I'm so happy I was able to come up with a decent solution. Btw, my daughter has already called dibs on the painting. :)


Monday 26th of February 2018

Mary, Your painting is lovely! Happy daughters are always a good thing as well. When I first started working at Harvard University back in 1989, my office was in the Rothko building across from Harvard Yard. It was a beautiful building but the space was much to small for our growing department and we ended up moving to a much larger space a bit further away from the yard, but still a walkable distance. Now that you are in NYC, perhaps you will take a trip to Boston and Cambridge for some walking tours.


Monday 26th of February 2018

Josephine I'm sure Rothko would welcome me with opened arms. I have never been north of Connecticut. So that would definitely be a trip for my bucket list.

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